My B&FC: Emily Grace-Bolton

Emily is studying the Electrical and Electronic Engineering – Level 3 Triple Diploma.

The former St Georges student explains why she chose B&FC to help her begin the journey to an engineering career in the RAF.

“The College just had better facilities and a bigger selection of what you could do. And it’s a really good timetable – I just recently started a job so it works out well.

"It’s more hands-on and less stressful than A Levels and you’ve not got an exam at the end. I just feel like you can showcase your knowledge in assignments more.

"There are probably girls out there who are thinking about doing engineering and worried there aren’t going to be many girls there. But they should just do it. We’ve all been really close as a group.”

Here's the full Q&A...

Why this course?

I just thought Engineering would be a good path to pick to go into the RAF.

Did you come to an open event?

Yes, I did, and the environment at the College was just a lot better compared to other places - it had better facilities and a bigger selection of what you could do.

There's a proper facility just for engineering and it’s really good to work in.

Is a lot of the course hands-on?

Yes, you do practicals, you do stuff in the classroom as well as on the computer - it's just really enjoyable.

What do you enjoy most about the course?

Being at College and creating new memories; learning something I’m interested in.

Tell me about your work placement.  

The first year I was at Blackpool Illuminations for 2 days, which was very interesting, seeing how they fix the lights ready for the Switch On and in this second year I will be doing around 45 days of work experience somewhere else. 

What's it like being a female in engineering?

Because I’m a girl sometimes people have been like ‘Why are you going into Engineering – it’s for lads..' but because I do cadets (and the majority of cadets are lads) I'm used to getting along with them and we've been really close as a group.

There are probably girls out there who are thinking about doing engineering and are like, ‘Do I do it because I know there aren’t going to be many girls in there?’ but they should just do it!

Tell me a bit about the tutors – do you get the support that you need?

Yes, definitely - if we need anything we can just ask them in class or email them and they’ll be more than willing to help.

Is your timetable workable?

Yes – on Tuesdays we’re at College 12.45 till 5.15. Wednesdays we’re in 9 in the morning till 11.15 and then we go home after that and we’re online from 12.45 till about 3 doing Progress, and then in the afternoon 3 till 5.15. So that’s a long day, but it’s alright because it’s split. And then we're in Thursdays in the afternoon.

It’s a really good timetable and I just recently started a job so it works out well. 

What's the workload like? 

At College now we’re doing little bits, but the little bits go towards your assignments and then when I’ve got a day to myself I’ll just put all of these little bits together, making it one piece.

What’s the advantage of this course over doing A Levels?

It’s more hands-on and less stressful because it's assignment-based, whereas with A Levels, you’ve got an exam at the end. 

Personally I find assignments better because I don’t really do well in tests. I just feel like you can showcase your knowledge in assignments more.

How is this course helping with your plans to get into the RAF?

It's given me an understanding of what engineering’s about and how you do different things and then when I go into the RAF they can say, ‘Oh yes, she does know what she’s doing, she knows the basics of how to do this, we can help her and give her more ideas.’

What’s your dream job?

I’d like to be Officer - hopefully I’ll get that eventually. Obviously I do cadets but my Dad was in the RAF regiment for 10 years so he said to me ‘Just look into it.’

How would you say this course has changed you?

I’ve definitely become more confident although I don’t know whether that’s just because I’m in a group full of lads and you’ve got to stand up for yourself! [she laughs]

I’ve also changed the way I do things, especially around assignments, so it’s just opened up more opportunities.

What advice would you give a Year 11 student now?

Just go for it!